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Theatre Northwest will present Moliere’s “The Imaginary Invalid” about a hypochondriac, his daily doctor visits and  a madcap scheme to save true love while ridding him of the doctors. (Photo by Lauren Adams/Northwest Missouri State University)

Theatre Northwest will present Moliere’s “The Imaginary Invalid” about a hypochondriac, his daily doctor visits and a madcap scheme to save true love while ridding him of the doctors. (Photo by Lauren Adams/Northwest Missouri State University)

April 8, 2022

Theatre Northwest to present ‘The Imaginary Invalid’

By Patrick Glenn, communication assistant

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Theatre Northwest will conclude its 2021-2022 season by presenting Moliere’s “The Imaginary Invalid” April 13-16 in the Mary Linn Auditorium at the Ron Houston Center for the Performing Arts.

Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. Tickets are $12 and can be reserved by calling 660.562.1321 or emailing theatre@nwmissouri.edu. Tickets also may be purchased at the box office up to one hour before showtime.

The play, translated by Miles Malleson, is centered on a hypochondriac, Monsieur Argan, and his daily doctor visits. Doctors, knowing Argan is perfectly healthy, prescribe him worthless medicines and procedures to dupe him out of his money. Meanwhile, Argan wants his daughter to marry a doctor so he can save on his medical bills and always have a physician handy – even though she’s in love with someone else.

Complicating matters, Argan’s scheming wife wants to send the daughter to a convent to profit from Argan’s pension and savings. Soon Argan’s saucy maid and nurse and his pragmatic, kind brother join in a madcap scheme to save true love and find a way to help Argan give up the doctors for good.

“The Imaginary Invalid” was Moliere’s last play and premiered in 1673. Moliere, himself an actor, played the role of Argan the night he died on Feb. 17 of the same year.

Director and Associate Professor of Theatre Katheryn Bilbo hopes the 17th-century show delights viewers while illustrating the dangers of trickery.

“(Moliere) satirized many issues, such as philosophy, religious hypocrisy, French academic salons and, additionally, false doctors and medicine, seen in our play,” Bilbo said. “While it may seem Moliere hated doctors and found them all useless, the underlying theme in this and all his plays was the ever-present susceptibility of mankind to be tricked, as is nearly every main character in the plays.”

Northwest’s production of “The Imaginary Invalid” coincides with Moliere’s 400th birthday celebration and is part of the Kansas City initiative KCMOliere: 400 in 2022.


Media contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704